Sunday, May 06, 2012
Retired Massachusetts State Trooper Staff Sergeant Richard Clemens - The trooper captured in the below Norman Rockwell painting has passed away at 83
Photo: Sept 2008 - Retired state trooper Richard Clemens, left, the officer in the famous Rockwell painting, and Ed Locke, who posed for the painting 50 years ago, at today's ceremony.
ARTICLE FROM 2008 - FRAMINGHAM - It's hard to say exactly what it is about Norman Rockwell's illustration "Runaway" that makes a wayward young boy and a Massachusetts state trooper seem so epic. On one stool, the officer leans over in his crisp blue uniform, glancing at the boy, whose shoes are untied, a hobo's bag on the floor at his feet.
The enduring image, which first appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post exactly 50 years ago on Saturday, has come to symbolize the mission of public safety officials.
"If there's one picture, one snapshot that tells the story of the State Police, it's this one right here," said Colonel Mark Delaney, superintendent of the State Police.
In recognition, officials held a ceremony at the department's headquarters today for the people who posed for the illustration. They were lauded with citations from the governor and the Legislature, a plaque, and hats.
Ed Locke was an 8-year-old living in Stockbridge in 1958 when he posed for Rockwell. He was embarrassed at first, he said, because his friends teased him about appearing on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. As he matured, Locke grew to appreciate Rockwell's work.
"I think that it represents a pretty simple time," said the 58-year-old Locke.
His partner in the picture, retired Staff Sergeant Richard Clemens, who is 79, took another perspective.
"Rockwell could depict things in the world around us," Clemens said, "not as they really were, but as we'd like to be."